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Pomfret board reviews comp plan, WECS law  

Credit:  By MICHAEL RUKAVINA - OBSERVER Assistant News Editor , The OBSERVER, observertoday.com 4 February 2012 ~~

During a recent special meeting, Pomfret Town Planning Board Chairman Jim Joy spoke before the town board on a number of topics.

In 2010 the town adopted its comprehensive agricultural protection plan, essentially its comprehensive plan. Joy requested that the town board appoint the planning board to additionally serve as a comprehensive agricultural plan committee.

“This committee is responsible for identifying the recommendations for implementation and to monitor the success of the town of Pomfret comprehensive agricultural protection plan,” he said. “This committee would be responsible to initiate stated actions and implementation strategies defined within the plan.”

Pomfret Town Board Supervisor Don Steger said the board would have to change a local law because a resolution was passed in October 2010 establishing the Town of Pomfret Agricultural Advisory Committee. The committee, he said, was to be made up of at least three town residents who are engaged in some form of agri-business, and two town residents to serve as ex-officio members, one to be a town board member and the other to be a planning board member.

The two sides had a difference of opinion as to whether or not there can or should be two committees to carry out the work listed in the comprehensive agricultural protection plan (comprehensive plan). Steger said John Brennan of Agricultural and Markets Department informed him that there should only be one committee.

“I personally would like to contact Mr. Brennan for clarification … I feel strongly that a committee that could work diligently on carrying out the recommendations would behoove the town,” Joy said. “Especially when you have a group that comes forth to volunteer in that effort.”

Town attorney Jeff Passafaro will review the proposal and report back to the board.

In October 2011, Joy appeared before the board to request a change in the small wind energy conversion system law. After hearing about challenges and variances given to WECS owners in the towns of Dunkirk and Portland, Joy felt it would be proactive for the town to increase its tower height and kilowatt limit.

Joy suggested the town board increase the height limitation from 80 feet to 120 feet for private wind towers, and kilowatts allowed from 10 to 100. At the time of the original request Steger questioned whether or not private wind tower owners would be able to maximize NYSERDA grants for a tower under 120 feet and thought maybe their new requirement was 140 feet. The two sides will look into the NYSERDA programs to determine the best height.

In other news:

Joy also presented the town board with a draft of the new zoning codes compiled by General Code. Councilwoman Ann Eckman and Steger requested a red-line copy of the code book to review the changes made to the original document. The plan will be reviewed by the town attorney and the board. Any changes to town zoning in the code book will eventually go before a public hearing.

Source:  By MICHAEL RUKAVINA - OBSERVER Assistant News Editor , The OBSERVER, observertoday.com 4 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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